Did you know around 34 percent of Americans eat out at least once a week? It’s so easy to fall into the trap of eating out. After all, it’s convenient, and sometimes you just aren’t in the mood to cook. However, besides the incredibly high calorie count, there are a few other reasons why you might want to reconsider that trip to the restaurant.
Food Safety Practices Aren’t Enforced
Most countries have some form of food safety rules all restaurants must follow. This prevents the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria such as E. coli. There’s no official count, but anyone who has worked in the food industry can tell you most workers do not follow any of the rules—unless the health inspector stops by, that is. Otherwise, you better believe many do not wear gloves when handling your food or use a separate cutting board for raw chicken.
Not bad enough? Around 50 percent of chefs don’t use a thermometer to make sure the meat has been cooked to the right temperature. This often leads to under and overcooked meat.
And those soups of the day or dinner specials? Don’t bother ordering them. More often than not, it’s a way for chefs to get rid of nearly spoiled food easily. The spices and method of cooking for these specials make it an easy way to cover up the smell.
Employees Often Come to Work Sick
Most employees in the food industry do not have benefits common to office workers such as paid time off, health insurance or sick leave. If they miss a day, it means less money they can take home. For many, that one day can be the difference between affording rent and not. So what happens? They’ll come to work sick and end up coughing or sneezing on your food. Up to 20 percent of workers even come to work despite having more serious symptoms such as vomiting or high fever. So if you’re ever wondering why you might feel sick after eating at a restaurant, it might be the employees.
Many Restaurants Have Pest Problems
It’s almost impossible to keep pests out of a restaurant. The constant opening and closing of the front and service doors makes it easy for pests such as mice, cockroaches and more to scuttle in unnoticed. Many restaurants don’t properly clean up after the end of the work day, leaving plenty of food scraps under tables and appliances to keep these pests well fed. This is especially harder to manage in large cities such as New York since the buildings are so close together. So if you see one cockroach or mouse, know there are likely more wandering around.
The WiFi Isn’t Secure
We all like to be connected wherever we go. Coffee shops and even some restaurants now provide WiFi access to customers. The problem with this? It’s vulnerable to hackers. Sure, there’s a password, but hundreds of people can access it easily. Luckily, you can protect yourself by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect your privacy. By going through a VPN, you encrypt any data sent through the network, making it impossible for hackers to get access to your personal information.
The Food Is High in Sodium
While lawmakers have pushed to get rid of trans fat from restaurants, the amount of sodium has barely changed. Most meals from chain restaurants have an average of 1,256 milligrams of sodium. Considering the daily intake is 2,300 milligrams, one meal from these places account for 50 percent of your daily intake. That’d be fine if that was all the sodium you get, but it’s more likely you’re getting even more from snacks, meals from other restaurants and elsewhere.
Why Cook at Home?
At home, you have control over the quality, freshness and safety of all of your ingredients. You can measure out exactly how much salt, sugar and other spices you add to your meals. Plus, you don’t have to leave home! Sure, you may need to deal with dishes, but you’ll have a healthier, safer and tastier meal at the end of the day.